Lurgan Celtic suffered another heavy home defeat on Saturday.
For the first time this season manager Ciaran O’Kane had something close to his first choice team but it made little difference in a very lacklustre performance.
Going into the game the Hoops had Campbell, Cochrane, McAnallen and Boyd along the back in what looked like a strong defence but they never really stood a chance. Going forward the home side were very poor and never created a clear chance in the 90 minutes.
The game started with both sides cancelling each other out in midfield and indeed it was the Hoops who marginally shaded the possession but despite some neat build up play never had a cutting edge. In the 16th minute some determined play by Cochrane in midfield found McCaughley who then squared the ball to Marshall but he blazed over.
The game then turned in the 26th minute when facing his own goal McAnallen was clearly tripped but the referee somehow waved play on and from the resulting corner the away side found the net to make it 1-0.
This seemed to hit Celtic hard as the heads dropped and the away side doubled their advantage in the 28th minute when the winger cut in from the left and curled home. Celtic’s misery continued just three minutes later when keeper Fox brought down the centre forward and received a yellow card which on another day could have been red and the Portstewart penalty taker made no mistake to make it 3-0.
Approaching the break The Hoops would have been glad to have got in just three behind but the away side scored a fourth on the stroke of half-time, again from a corner, as the defence failed to deal with the bouncing ball.
At the break O’Kane brought on Michael Toland for Boyd and reshuffled his formation but like the previous week it had little effect as the away side controlled the second half and indeed could have scored more than the one they did convert.
Despite some promising spells in the game O’Kane’s team will have to make more of an impact going forward as at times in the game the ball arrived in the visitors’ box and there were no Celtic players there to score.
The Hoops have no game next week having exited the Bob Radcliffe Cup the previous week so the next game will be away to Sport and Leisure on October 5 in another tough fixture.